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All Waterford Regional Veterinary Office positions now filled

Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has welcomed the confirmation by his party colleague Minister Martin Heydon that all of the technical vacancies relating to the Bovine TB Eradication Programme have been filled in the Waterford Regional Veterinary Office.

Senator Cummins said “The prevalence of Bovine TB outbreaks in Waterford was raised during a meeting which I facilitated between Waterford IFA members and Minister Simon Coveney in Dungarvan last October and since then I have been consistently fighting to ensure that all technical vacancies pertaining to the TB eradication programme in the Waterford and Cork North RVO’s were filled. It is hugely welcome news that the three vacancies which existed in both RVO’s have now been filled and while a new vacancy has arisen recently in Cork North due to a promotion, a process to fill this is underway.

Addressing Minister Heydon in Seanad Eireann late last year, Senator Cummins said “The impact of rising TB outbreaks is far reaching. The disease causes untold hardship for farmers and farm families in rural Ireland whose herds have to be culled and while your department operates a good TB compensation scheme, it doesn’t compensate for the distress and fear which is widespread amongst the communities which I represent due to rising cases…. It is counterproductive for the Department to be paying out significant compensation for herd culls vs the appropriate staffing of mitigation measures”.

Responding to Senator Cummins, Minister Heydon said “In 2020 herd incidence breached 4% for the first time since 2012 and reactor numbers exceeded 20,000 – the highest number since 2009. On a year to date basis, as of the 7th November, national herd incidence stands at 4.18%, Waterford herd incidence rate at 5.05% and Cork North herd incidence rate stands at 8.34%”.

“As part of our on-going commitment to eradicating this disease, an additional €1 million in funding for the wildlife programme which is an integral element of the overall programme has been allocated. It is imperative that we all work together to tackle this problem and protect farmers from what is a significant financial and emotional burden”

Speaking following the receipt of correspondence from Minister Heydon on Monday 25th April 2022 confirming the filling of the RVO vacancies, Senator Cummins said “I would like to thank Minister Heydon for taking this matter so seriously over recent months. Clearly the success of the TB eradication programme is determined by the staff that are available within the RVO’s that deal with the wildlife programme. Bovine TB can have a disastrous impact on farm families and my office has been dealing with too many affected farmers in recent months to assist them in accessing the supports and financial compensation which they are entitled to.

“I would like to thank Waterford IFA for engaging with me on this matter and I sincerely hope that the filling of these vacancies will have the desired impact on the ground in the months a years ahead”

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